NY Trip Photo Bomb (part 1)

Okay, so there I go bragging about how I’m back from vacation and ready to dive into this blog-a-day thing again and I go and disappear again. Funny how that happens. But, in my defense, I had a photo assignment for a local magazine, a 2-year-old who hasn’t been feeling 100%, and my parents in town for the weekend. So, I took a little break.

In the meantime, I’ve been uploading the thousand or so photos I took while we were in New York, sorting and processing them. Of course, I wish I’d been able to take a whole lot more, but I got some really great shots. I still have more to get through, but I figured I better break it up into a few blog posts so I don’t totally overwhelm you. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s part 1 of the NY Trip Photo Bomb.


We got to the airport in Kansas City early, so we passed the time doing a little drawing…

Then, we boarded our first flight of the day, and had a little licorice during take-off…

After landing in NY, we picked up our rental car and headed to Concordia to meet up with friends and let Cadence blow off a little pent up steam. After riding in cars and airplanes all day, she was ready to stretch her little legs. We were welcomed in grand fashion by some of our dearest college friends.

Here’s the handsome groom himself, Gary, who was kind enough to set up a picnic table and order a few pizzas. Ah, New York pizza. We’ve missed you! And Gar Bear, we missed you even more! 🙂

Tune in tomorrow to see photos from some of our Long Island adventures!

Shortly after, Joan, Mike Katie Shea, and Timothy arrived to eat and play…

And Cadence told them all about flying on two airplanes, and pointed out every one that flew over campus…

The kids had a blast playing…

Cadence and Joan became fast friends…

Cadence was starting to look a little worn out…

Until her little buddy Nay-nay (Nathan) arrived…

After a few Skype dates, she was so excited to finally meet him in person!

And Nathan was totally turning on the charm for the ladies…

As evening set in, more friends arrived–Donny, Maria, Olivia, Ella, George, Amy, Lorelei, and Audrey–and we all had a blast hanging out, just like old times…Well, old times plus a whole lot of kids! 🙂

Unfortunately, between being busy talking and chasing my kiddo and the fading light, I had to retire the camera for the night. But, as Steven, Cadence and I said our see-ya-laters to our friends and headed to Long Island, I managed to grab a few quick shots of one of my favorite cities in the whole world as we sped by in the darkness.

Hello New York! Boy, have we missed you!

Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This

I missed my blog post yesterday. Total 365 Project failure folks. I’d like to say, I did try. After the long day of packing and traveling and utter mayhem, I put Cadence down to sleep and turned on my laptop to discover two things:

1. Pawpoo Shawn changed the password on his wireless network, and

2. I just didn’t have the energy or the motivation to try logging in with my phone to post.

So, here I am tonight instead, making up for lost time and filling you in on yesterday’s craziness.

But first, let’s back up a few days…

So, as you all know, I’ve been battling some fierce allergies this spring. I’ve never had allergies so bad, and there have been several days that I’ve given serious though to just sewing my nostrils shuts to keep the pollen out of my sinuses. If I didn’t hate breathing out of my mouth so much, I just might have tried it.

Steven keeps telling me that he thinks I’m sick, that it can’t be allergies. And then, as if to prove his point, he goes and gets sick over the weekend. He even had to stay home from work Monday and Tuesday because he was a coughing, sneezing, achy, congested mess. So, maybe I was a little sick, but everyone at Steve’s office said this kind of cruddy flu has been going around for a couple of weeks, so we’re not the only ones suffering.

Since Steven was home Monday and Tuesday, I decided to get a jump on packing for my Colorado trip. I’m the world’s worst when it comes to packing. I always put it off until the last minute. And then I stress myself (and my poor hubby) out and end up overpacking because I’m just frantically throwing anything and everything that we could possibly want or need into the suitcase. Since it would just be Cadence and I traveling, I didn’t want to overdo it, and I wanted to make sure I packed our carry-on bag smart with a variety of toys and activities and snacks to keep her occupied during the flight.

Mostly, I just didn’t want a repeat of our last flight alone together. In case you need a refresher (and a good laugh), follow the link…

The Joys of Traveling with a Toddler

So, I was seriously proud of myself when I managed to get my camera bag and our carry-on/diaper bag fully packed and set aside on Monday. Go me!

Since I’d booked a 7:40 pm flight on Wednesday, I figured I could spent Wednesday morning packing the suitcase. The plan was to get up, get Cadence situated with some breakfast, take a quick shower, turn on a movie to keep Cadence busy while I gathered all of the clothes and bathroom items for the trip, then wait until Steven came home for lunch to pack. Then, I’d have the afternoon for any last minute stuff and time to get Cadence down for a quick nap.

That was the plan. Here’s how it really went down.

Cadence woke up and her crib was soaked. Apparently, she’d taken off her pajamas during the night, and managed to pull her diaper halfway off. So, I got her up, bathed her, got her dressed, and put her in her high chair to eat some breakfast while I stripped her crib and started a load of laundry to wash her sheets.

I sat down for a quick cup of coffee while I went through my email. I wanted to make sure I had all my projects and work stuff taken care of before the trip. And wouldn’t you know that I had half-a-dozen new inquiries and assignments waiting in my inbox that morning, so I spent the next 30 minutes replying while Cadence ate breakfast. I took a quick break to get her cleaned up when she was done eating and rotate the laundry, then spent the next hour or so replying to the rest of the emails and updating my calendar.

At some point, Cadence managed to get into the diaper bag and unpack half of it trying to get to the new Elmo coloring books I’d bought for the trip. Of course, there was the threat of an epic meltdown when I took everything away from her so I could repack the bag, but I managed to pull the good ol’ “bait and switch” by popping Hop into the blu-ray player and bribing her with a fruit snack.

I managed to get the bag repacked by the time Steven came home for lunch, so I sat down and inhaled a plate of leftover spaghetti pie before heading upstairs to pull out all of the clothes Cadence and I would be taking on the trip. Then, I took a quick shower and gathered our toiletries for the trip. By the time Steven headed back to work, I had everything ready, I just needed to put it all in the suitcase.

And then, everything started to go really wrong.

Electra followed Steven out as he left to go back to the office, and was content to spend the afternoon in the yard sniffing and tracking. And Cadence seemed content playing in her kitchen on the sunporch, so I snuck into the bathroom for a moment to pull my wet hair up into a ponytail. I was just finishing up when Cadence suddenly appeared in the doorway.

“Uh-oh Momma. Poop. Poopy potty,” she said.

I had about 3.7 seconds of being excited and thinking that Cadence had come to tell me that she needed to go poop on the potty, but then I realized that she’d already gone and that she was wearing big girl underwear.

You wanna know what’s worse than trying to get a pair of poop-filled underwear off a squirming 2-year-old?


There’s nothing in the world that’s worse than that.

I’m not even exaggerating, folks. You should consider yourself lucky if you both make it out alive.

An hour later, after both of us were sterilized and wearing clean sets of clothes, I started another load of laundry and then took Cadence up to put her down for a nap. She wasn’t tired at all (and in all honesty, I think she’s about ready to drop her afternoon naps), but it was already 2:45 and I hadn’t even started packing the suitcase yet. If nothing else, I figured I could put her in her crib, zip the crib tent closed, and have an hour or two of uninterrupted packing time before we had to head out the door to the airport.

Cadence went in her crib without a fuss, and as I finally began packing the suitcase, I listened to her over the monitor singing her ABC’s and jumping up and down. I managed to get all of our clothes packed, then carried the suitcase downstairs to finish packing the last of our toiletries. The only thing missing was the stack of overnight diapers I’d left sitting on Cadence’s changing table, but those would have to wait until it was time to get her out of bed to go.

I figured I could go ahead and get my camera bag and backpack in the car, so I grabbed the car keys and opened the back door.

In all the afternoon craziness, I’d completely forgotten about Electra, but I saw her as soon as I opened the door, standing off to the patio to my left, half-hidden by one of the planter beds. She looked up at me, as if I’d startled her or interrupted something. Then, she bent down, grabbed something in her mouth, and darted off around the side of the house.

I’d seen just enough of the grayish-brown fur to know it was a rabbit.

Damned if our lazy hound didn’t finally caught herself a rabbit! And of course, it would happen today!

I just shook my head as I put the bags in the car. Then, I went around the side of the house to see if the little bunny had actually survived Electra’s overzealous playfulness.

No such luck.

There was the poor little bunny, stretched out on the sidewalk, and poor Electra licking it and nudging it with her nose, probably wondering why her little friend wasn’t getting up to hop anymore.

RIP little bunny

I took Electra by the collar and led her in the house, locking her in while I disposed of the carcass. Ugh! It wasn’t even 5:00 and I’d already cleaned up shit and dead bodies. How much worse could this day possibly get? Oh, that’s right, I was getting on a plane with my 2-year-old in a few hours. At that point, I began to prepare myself for the worst.

Luckily, except for my sinuses plugging up tight just in time to board the airplane, I have absolutely no complaints about the trip. We got to the airport early enough to grab some dinner as a family. Cadence and I said goodbye to Steven and managed to make it through security with no issues. Then we boarded the plane and got strapped in for the short flight to Denver. Cadence was content to eat her snacks, color, and watch movies on the Ipad, never once complaining for the entire flight. There were no diaper explosions or screaming trips to the airplane lavatory, no crazy overtired meltdowns, nothing at all.

Cadence showing her Momma what a big girl she is and traveling like a champ on the airplane.

Thank God. After the day I had, I don’t know if I could have survived it.

And so, we have arrived in Colorado, safe and sound, and we’re having a blast hanging out with Pawpoo Shawn, Granny Wendy, Aunt Whitney and Uncle Collin.

Cadence showing her Uncle Collin all her favorite Ipad games and movie trailers.

Now, if you’d all pray for us to have an uneventful trip back home on Tuesday, I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

The Reality of Overnight Family Trips

Let’s face it, the one thing that really changes when you have kids is road trips. No more carefree weekend jaunts. No sprawling out in massive beds or snuggling under the covers. And if you have a kid (or kids) and a dog, you might as well kiss any semblance of comfort goodbye once and for all.

Case in point, tonight’s sleeping arrangements in my parents’ guest room.

Here’s where Cadence (or hell, even Electra) should be sleeping…

And this is how it’s working out so far…

That, my friends, is a futon, which is great if you’re

a. A child (or at least a pre-pubescent who hasn’t hit that final growth spurt yet)

b. A dog

c. A drunken college student just looking for a soft place to pass out

d. Sleeping alone for the night

As luck would have it, neither Steven nor I fit any of the criteria above.

Even better, by the time we finally got Cadence in her pajamas and ready for bed, she had already skated past the I’m-Overtired-And-Manic Phase and right into the Look-At-Me-I’m-Delirious-And-Going-To-Run-Until-I-Literally-Pass-Out-From-Exhaustion Phase.

So, after nearly 3 hours of talking, pleading, consoling, cajoling, threatening, asking, demanding, yelling, and shushing, everyone is finally asleep. Well, except for yours truly. First I have to relocate the dog to the easy chair and try to unravel my husband and daughter’s limbs from the large knot of blankets in the middle of the futon.

On second thought, the floor is mighty comfortable…

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